Intelligence: February 11, 2000

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The strange case of former CIA Director John Deutch continues. Not only did he take classified files home and load them in his personal non-secure computer, but he also kept an extensive diary with details of government operations, bureaucratic infighting, and candid (often less than glowing) remarks about other officials. In his diary, Deutch complained that he had not been made Secretary of Defense. Deutch, who was apparently just indifferent to the rules, kept more than 70 files on his home computer. As it was connected to the Internet, there was at least a theoretical possibility that someone could have gotten into his computer from the outside when he was on line and copied the files. An investigation of the case began as Deutch was leaving the agency in Dec 96, but this was stalled by CIA officials who then delayed telling Congress about the problems and ultimately decided not to prosecute. Current Defense Secretary Cohen said on 7 Feb that the Pentagon was deciding whether to cancel all of Deutch's security clearances. Cohen admitted for the first time that Deutch had maintained access to some classified Pentagon files on military industry even after his security clearances at the CIA were revoked for having files on his home computer. Cohen noted that there has to be specific evidence of a violation before an American citizen is denied previously-granted security clearances used to make a living. Deutch, a professor at MIT, used the clearances to work as a paid consultant to various contractors. Deutch voluntarily gave up his last three clearances on 8 Feb.--Stephen V Cole

 


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